There are many things to be grateful for in this harvest season and in this season of my life. I am so thankful for family far and near, and the fact my Hubby and I are still traveling, and enjoying all the time we can with each. These fall days we are visiting, and enjoying Kingston, TN. May I share my heart-thanks not only for all of my family but for this beautiful God-blessed area he has placed along a river, a lake and settled among gorgeous steep ridges and whisper quiet hollows.
I find there is excitement along the winding, rising and falling local roads of the East Tennessee ridge country. They are intriguing as well as amazing. I have many "holding my breath" moments.There are sharp, short curves, not to be seen around ahead of time, no long sweeping vistas, unless you are peering down from high above the valleys on an interstate speed-way! Care to come for a ride?
When driving, I never know what is waiting around the bend; the road (for the most part) holds my complete attention. From the corner of my eye, I appreciate the glory of gently colored turning leaves, an event which is late in arriving this year.
Occasionally, there are wisps of smoke rising from chimneys hidden deep in the woods, and I realize how heavily populated this area is even though camouflaged by wild, free beauty. I don’t dare to scan the trees as I would like, for the shoulders of the roads are close, and I sometime tend to veer where I am looking.
Though my eyes hold a steady bead on the road; my thoughts are prone wander. The branches of the hardy growth and undergrowth reach out to entice me, and cause me, in my mind, to skip through the patterns of shadows cast on the roadway in a dizzying driving dance, as I avoid their embrace. Occasionally I will lift my eyes to the rear-view mirror to see if that vine clinging to the trunk of an ageless golden maple tree really was a Mother with many appendages not wanting to let go.
Tennessee’s birds dodge and get caught in autumn’s breezy current, and I try using discipline to avoid my favorite pastime “watching!” Tit-mice, chickadee, the abundant cardinals, I can, for the most part ignore, but when a flash of blue with a pink-yellow breast crosses my vision; I throw caution to the wind and watch, as long as I dare. Ah, the bird of my childhood my “Blue Bird of Happiness.” Many of my young dreams and waking fantasies were induced by an imagined “sweetest melody” never actually heard. I give thanks for parents who gave me the desire to adventure after creative thoughts to see where they could lead; most importantly they taught me to trust Jesus at an early age, the greatest adventure.
Oops! I’m back to full awareness now; eyes still glued to the curves, and dips. The challenge of the back-lanes stirs a strange excitement. I revel in the challenge, and detect a slight taste of victory when I make the last turn. My car shifts down as we pull the steep hill; I suddenly slow down and swiftly make a sharp right sweep and careen down an equally sheer driveway. I apply the handbrake, emerge among falling leaves and scampering chipmunks.
My eyes are now free to take in the beauty around me as I slowly trek up the curving drive. I step upon great slabs of stone laid out to form a pathway that guides me to the door, all the while I’m giving thanks to the Almighty God, for oh so many spiritual and earthly things; the blessings of his beautiful self, his nature lavished upon the earth, all of my family, and my safety are enmeshed in glorifying praises in this precious moment!
Wherever you are; sing with me…out loud:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above you heavenly host-praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!!!
1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (The Message)
David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation: Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father from of old and forever. To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor; Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth; the kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all. Riches and glory come from you, you’re ruler over all; You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.